An employment contract is a legally binding agreement outlining terms of an employer-employee business relationship. The contract covers terms like compensation, evaluations, job title, salary, employment timeframe. It may include a non-solicit agreement.

What Is a Non-Solicit Agreement?

A non-solicit, or non-solicitation, agreement restricts an individual from soliciting customers or employees from a company. For example, an employee with a non-solicitation agreement in their contract may choose to leave their job and start their own company. According to the non-solicitation agreement, they are not legally permitted to ask other employees to join them at their new company. The agreement can prohibit the former employee from doing business with past, current, or prospective clients or employees by:

  • Providing services to
  • Calling up
  • Selling
  • Soliciting
  • Taking away
  • Diverting
  • Delivering to
  • Accepting business
  • Taking orders

How Long Does This Agreement Last?

Although a non-solicit agreement’s length depends entirely on the terms of that particular agreement between the employer and the employee, this type of agreement generally lasts for about one year.

Can It Restrict Me from Working with Clients in a Specific Area?

Yes. The agreement can restrict the employee from soliciting any potential clients and business in a limited geographical area.

Can a Non-Solicitation Agreement Require Me to Never Solicit a Company’s Clients or Employees?

This agreement cannot restrict the employee from never soliciting clients, business partners, or employees from a company. This is because courts typically see a lifetime ban such as this as being unconscionable in a business setting. 

Is a Non-Solicitation Clause the Same as a Non-Compete Agreement?

No. Although non-compete and non-solicitation agreements can be in the same employee contract, they are not the same type of agreement. A non-compete agreement restricts employees from cooperating or collaborating with other competing companies while working for their current employer, as well as working for a competitor directly after leaving the company.

Is a Nondisclosure Agreement Different from a Non-Solicitation Agreement?

Yes. A nondisclosure agreement is also called a confidentiality agreement. Its purpose is to keep trade secrets, proprietary information, and yet-to-be-patented inventions from being revealed by an employee. The information retain is supposed to remain with the company after the person’s employment is terminated.

Do I Need to Talk to a Lawyer Prior to Signing a Non-Solicit Agreement?

Yes. If an employer asks you to sign a non-solicit agreement, contact an employment lawyer. The lawyer can answer any questions you have about the enforceability and limitations.